Saturday, November 10, 2012


Thanks to John Heckenlively for crunching some numbers in the Rob Zerban race:

Paul Ryan (R- Wall St.) lost his hometown, Janesville, by over 8 thousand votes in the VP race and by over 3000 in the Congressional Race.

.Janesville Ward 13 Presidential
Romney 482

Janesville Ward 13 Congressional
Zerban 806
Ryan 567

Paul even lost his own WARD in Janesville. Not even his neighbors voted for him.

H/T Rebecca Kemble from The Progressive on crunching some statewide numbers.

  “Based on the numbers reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, adding up all votes cast in the Wisconsin State Senate races shows that Democrats received 475,116 votes (50.5%), Republicans received 451,928 votes (48.1%), and others received 13,100 (1.4%), yet the Republicans gain(2) seats and take the majority in the Senate.”

Then of course there are these numbers:

President Obama - 1,613,950 - 52.8%

Mitt Rmoney - 1,408, 745  - 46.1%

         Senator Tammy Baldwin -  1,544,274 - 51.5% 

          Tommy G Thompson - 1.377,274 - 45.9%  

As David Sirota tweeted:

A proposed 2013 bumper sticker: "This Is a Center-Left Nation, Beeyatch. Deal With It."

Democrats, and especially progressive democrats won a nationwide mandate this week.  As  David Sirota also points out, America rejected Extreme Conservatism:

This truth is more than merely inconvenient to the political right - it is nothing short of life threatening, for it calls into question the long-term political viability of conservative ideology. Hence, the inevitable Republican effort to quickly turn the page and change the subject.

But try as the GOP might, the page won’t turn. For the next four years, every time Obama appears with the presidential seal, he will remind Americans of exactly what they voted against - and why they voted against it. For this reason, the exhausting 2012 election may well end up a watershed moment in political history - a moment that finally witnessed the beginning of the ebb of extreme conservatism.

Now how does Tuesday apply to Wisconsin, since democrats have no control over the assembly and lost 2 seats (and control) of the Senate.    First off you have to acknowledge that the unethical way they redistricted and their huge funding advantage have put the Wisconsin democratic party behind the eight ball.  

However, it is task that is NOT insurmountable, there are ways to overcome it.  Here are some of my recommendations: 

1.  Have and stick to a progressive message.  Progressive messages work, and they especially work in WI.  This continual running to the center without a clear message has now been proven to be a loser over and over again.   Time to get on board a clear UNIFIED progressive message  and platform.

2.  CHANGE leadership.  Senator Mark Miller has already stepped down.   Mike Tate needs to resign and Peter Barca needs to step down from his leadership position also.   I think that Miller, and Barca and tate are all very nice people and incredibly competent legislators(Barca/Miller)and we need their help, but their time in charge is over. We need fresh new blood in there.

My suggestions - Kathleen Vinehout and Chris Taylor!  

3  Start right now, and understand that EVERY county COUNTS!  Emulate Howard Dean's 50 state strategy and build the farm system and the local party!   What Howard Dean did as head of the democratic party was amazing and also underrated and overlooked.  We need a solid ground game and candidates willing to step up in every county and in every race from Waukesha to Dane to Sawyer and everywhere in between.   Strong local progressive leaders can overcome our disadvantages. (I know im not alone in this thinking).

4.   Do NOT be surprised by the republicans lack of ethics and morals and ability to do things that you would never think of doing.   When they do, and everytime they do, tell everyone who will listen.   Your strategy of dealing with things in private and behind the scenes worked so well that we now have two years of complete republican control. 

5.  Subscribe to Bernie Sanders newsletter and emulate it.  Its well written and informative and he pulls no punches.  How about a statewide newsletter, build a mailing list and inform everyone of things that are happening.   The stuff we get now is information for the next fundraiser.  Not good enough! 

6.  Figure out a way to use and win in Social Media.  It's cheap and free! 

7.   MESSAGE BETTER.  Its no surprise that the repubs have been winning elections with Frank Luntz help.   Here is an example.   Rename Scott Walker's ACT 10,  The republicans have a solid message of calling it "education reform".  No where in Wisconsin has education been reformed over the last two years. You can google all you want and you will not find a single mention on any program enacted by the republicans that was meant to enhance students learning.   Lets call it "teacher salary reform", or "education deform" or the "end of local control" or come up with a different term and everyone use it.   Call them out for what they are.  

8.  DIVERSIFY.  While we get minorities votes we need to get full participation from minorities, that includes African Americans, latinos Hmong, etc....We have a big tent but we do not have a big tent of participation.  That needs to change.  

9.  STOP RUNNING FROM COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS!!!!   150,000 people did not storm the Capitol to support the democratic party.  Busloads of Wisconites from Northern Wisconsin did not spend the time and money to come to Madison to support the dems.  They came to protest the end of their collective bargaining rights.  The next consultant who says to not run on the issue, fire on the spot! 

10.  Get in it to win it!


  1. You forgot something else, Jeff. The election to replace Justice Pat Roggensack is next April 2nd. A functional Wisconsin Supreme Court is incredibly important to a functional state. Vince Megna has already declared that he is running; MaryAnn Sumi and Ed Fallone (from Marquette Univ. Law School) may also run. All three of these potential candidates are preferable to Justice Roggensack, in that they are more attentive to the language of statute and constitution, and are not tied to WMC in any way. We must be attentive to this election, and boost turnout in April.

  2. I like your ideas, but, what about Vinehout and Chris Larson?

  3. Can somebody research these candidates for us and give us an idea which ones are most likely to have appeal and not to be bought out by the GOP?

  4. When is the primary for the judge race? Isn't it in February?

  5. JB, you are correct. that was the whole point of my rant and i forgot to include it.

    The whole point is the right will downplay all candidates for SCTOWI and the next Governor race in 2014 but we can easily perform in statewide races if we do it right. people should not be discouraged to run, they will be well funded but Tammy proved that we can win.

    The primary race will be in February if we actually have more than two candidates. talking about running and running are two different things sometimes.

    Anon - Vinehout and chris larson are both Senators. so only one could be the leader. Need one senator and one assembly person.

    finally anon 906 - when the time comes we and others will be doing plenty of writing about the candidates. There will not be a lack of information on them(unless you read the righties blogs) but let's wait until they officially get in the races.

  6. Thanks for the info.

    I really liked this column. Very positive.

  7. Keeping an eye on elections is very important, but so is a grass roots effort to fight Walker's crony capitalistic agenda. I really have no idea how that can be done effectively at this point, nevertheless I want to try.

  8. You forgot one: Robin Vos, who won with 65% of the vote in 2008, only got 58% of the vote in 2012. He lost 7% of his voter base...AFTER he spent $1.9 million redistricting himself into a smaller, more conservative geographic area. What a loser. The epitome of deceit, lies, obfuscation, partisanship, and, ethics problems.

  9. I really like this post. I have to say that despite all the media I consume, I was not aware until the day before the election that we were likely to lose control of the state Senate. I was so focussed on Obama, Tammy, Rob Zerban and apparently everyone else was too. Where was our early warning system? Someone should have been minding the Uprising (United Wisconsin?).

    I also think we should campaign full time on a couple of broad issues. First, work and workers. The dignity of labor. Workplace justice and the value of worker voices, especially in the area of safety and effectiveness. How stable industries and stable communities support each other.

    The other issue would be government; the fact that government is about us, that our representatives should represent us and our concerns, that we can do some things better together, that we shouldn't let the private sector take the public sector away from us; there's a need for both. That good government requires a good, impartial civil service and lots of public oversight. That government service can honorable and respectable when the public good is truely served. That the public commons is a public trust and should not be for sale.

    I'm tired of hearing workers blamed for bankers' misdeeds and hearing that private industry does everything better. It's time to tel the rest of the story.

    1. I like Vinehout as a leader but believe Democrats need to remain pro-choice in Wisconsin. Vinehout is pro-life. Will this be a problem?

  10. You can't support Vinehout and collective bargaining at the same time. She made it very clear that she supported Act 10, or at least parts of it.

  11. Capper, I remember that Vinehout did support collective bargaining.
    Maybe you disagree with me but do you have evidence?

    1. She said she was against it, but when it came time on how to repeal it, she left empty handed. I also know what she told to the unions when they interviewed her. It was much different than her public statements.

    2. Let's get real here none of them really did which is why we are here(see #9).

      And im more worried about her allowing "letting pharmacist follow their conscious" than possibly being pro life. If someone takes a doctor ordered prescription to a pharmacist and they refuse to fulfill it they are no longer a pharmacist they might as well be a stock person. If they want to dictate my prescriptions then go to medical school and become my doctor.

  12. I wonder about blaming Peter Barca for the Assembly situation. Have we seen the analysis of the state results yet? Isn't it mainly because of redistricting?

    1. Id ont discount redistricting but 1. we should have had redistricting reform when we had control, 2. How did they allow the way the republicans ended up doing it anyway. 3. because of their incompetence that is what we have now so we can not just accept defeat for the next ten years>

    2. Barca was not in leadership when the Democrats had control of the Assembly.

  13. Kathleen Vinehout is pro-choice. It is true that she advocated letting pharmacists follow their consciences, but she is clear about keeping reproductive choices for women. She has done much more than most of the state senators to connect with community grassroots groups.

  14. Very informative article, my hat's off to you.
    What you said about Bernie Sanders is interesting, as I didn't know he had a publication, but really liked his past stance on objecting to the idea that corporations were somehow "persons."
    The numbers about the Zerban-Ryan race I think are likely very important to Democrats. As one myself, Paul Ryan's big loss to Zerban among Janesville voters just goes to show what a creep he is. Ryan refused to debate Zerban (gee, why?), though tries to run on his record to Janesville voters. Ryan gets the rural vote (lots of ex-GM workers out there, to be sure), which gets him re-elected to Congress. Pardon me while I puke.
    Why can they allow one person to run for two elected public offices (V.P. & Congressman) simultaneously? What if, by chance, he would win both races? Which job would he take? Should they have to have a special election to decide the officeholder for the job Ryan would have had to decline?
    I'm just glad we have all sorts of information about Ryan's performance thus far in Office. It's not that big of a file.

  15. yes I can and I DO support Collective bargaining and i do support Vinehout at the same time. she DOES support and advocate for collective bargaining and she is pro choice. and in addition to talking to the unions about this I have also spoken specifically and personally with Kathleen Vinehout

    1. And I do know she's flip flopped on her stances regarding both issues.